5 Essential Gardening Tools For Sale
Garden Tools need to be high quality and fit for purpose if a gardener is going to love them
One of the things I learned very early on in the process of understanding what it takes to be a productive gardener is that a gardener really does need a decent set of tools. I remember my father's favourite spade was only about half the length of anything you could see in the shops and it turns out that the reason was fairly straightforward to explain. He had literally worn half of his spade away in use. Now you might think that is perhaps a bad feature, but if you ponder on this for a little while, you will realise that this means the tool was very strong and robust. The spade handle after hundreds of hours of use had remained intact and had allowed him to continue using his spade over many years. He also made sure he cleaned his tools off after use and when they needed it would sharpen the tools to ensure they were easy to use and, in the case of his spade, cut through the soil cleanly and easily. So there are some lessons there, buy decent tools and look after them properly, then they will last you a lifetime.
There are also some tools that are considered absolutely essential for any gardener, whether that is for a big garden or a small garden. Of course the bigger your garden is then the more likely it is that you also need power tools to keep things manageable and I will be taking a look at some of the best garden power tools that are available and will help you immensely with your gardening chores.
So always remember that quality stands the test of time in the garden and no-one wants a tool that only lasts five minutes before it is heading to the broken garden tools graveyard!
But first things first, what are those essential hand held garden tools that every gardener needs?
Image courtesy of PhotoXpress
Felco F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruner - The best of the bunch
Secateurs or pruners are the first on the list of essential tools for gardening and any gardener will know the reason why. There is hardly a day goes by in the growing season or at the end of the season when you will not be reaching for the pruners. Just remember they are pruners and not loppers, so keep it real and remember to clean and oil the blades regularly for best performance.
Not the cheapest, Fiskars meets that objective, but this is a robust and hard wearing pruner.
The Rumford Gardener Garden Pro Trowel GPT1000 - Robust and fit for purpose
Remember that no matter what you think there will be people out there that will abuse their equipment and try and use it in a way it was not intended to be used. Tools for gardening are no different in that respect, they will be abused, so what you need is a design that can take a bit of abuse and that is where the Rumford garden Pro Trowel comes in.
But remember if you do use it as intended it is more likely to give you a lifetimes service.
Probably one of the toughest trowels on the market.
Anyone that gardens will know how essential a hand held garden cultivator is for raking over those garden beds down close and personal to make sure you get all those pesky little weeds that keep popping up. But just as essential is one that will not rust or fall over at the first sight of a little hard work and is easy to clean off after use.
You can't plough fields with these, but then you are not supposed to. This one does what it was designed for and comes at a great price.
CobraHead Weeder and Cultivator - Hand Tools for Gardening
Sometimes you want to do more than break up the soil, some more persistent weeds need to be quickly cut off at the base and removed. That's why this 'cobra head' weeder and cultivator is another essential hand held gardening tool. It allows you to quickly clear the weeds around your plants and it can also be used to break up the soil to let a little air in.
A useful addition to your gardening tools set that will prove invaluable time and time again.
A Hand Held Garden Fork - For those times the trowel just won't go in
When the soil is a bit hard or dried out and using the trowel is a little bit too much like hard work, then the hand held garden fork might be the solution. There are always going to be days like that, so that is why this fella gets into the essential tools for gardening list.
Tough, durable and goes where a hand held trowel sometimes cannot.
Have You Got an Opinion on the Most Essential Gardening Tools?
Which is Your Favorite Hand Gardening Tool?
Double Digging to Loosen Soil - A Good Reason Why You Need Tough Garden Tools
If you need to double dig your garden planting areas be prepared for a bit of hard work, it can be very tough going. Double digging is a technique introduced by French market gardeners back in the 19th century to make their garden plots more productive.
The technique is used when the soil has become compacted and hard so needs to be loosened to allow air to get in and to make life a little easier for earth worms. If your soil is already loose and loamy, then you do not need to worry about double digging, because all you will potentially do is harm the earthworms that have taken up residence.
You should not double dig when the soil is wet either, as this will just damage the soil structure doing more harm than good. So before you start just make sure your soil is nice and dry. You only need to double dig where you want to plant your crops of course and not your whole garden.
The principle behind double digging is that you dig deep enough to loosen the soil to the depth of twice the spade head. You start by digging a trench about 18 inches in width and around 6 feet long, removing the top soil to a depth of a spade's head, place this topsoil from the first trench into a wheelbarrow or flexible plastic bucket. Then you go into the subsoil with a fork and loosen the soil to the full depth of the fork.
Once you have done that and the subsoil is nice and loose for the full length of the trench, you move 18 inches further back and start a second trench parallel to the first. This time the top soil is turned over onto the subsoil of the first trench and is loosened as you proceed along the length of the trench. Effectively you replace the top soil you removed from the first trench with the top soil from the next trench, breaking it up and loosening it in the process. Then you repeat the same process of loosening the subsoil now exposed in the second trench to the full depth of a fork.
Now all you do is repeat the whole process again working down the planting area until the whole plot has been turned over and the subsoil loosened. The final trench that you dig is back filled with the top soil you took out of the very first trench.
That's it a simple technique that breaks up your soil, allows air to get into the ground and makes the whole planting area a lot more attractive to earth worms who will now invade the area and continue the process of breaking down the soil into a fertile soft medium in which your plants can flourish.
Tough work that requires tough tools and tough earthworms.
A Demonstration of Double Digging - You will see on this video why you need good quality garden tools.
More Essential Tools for Gardening - These are more for the large garden gardeners
Chopping, raking and generally clearing up are all activities that every gardener is well aware of, so having the tools necessary to do the job can be very helpful.
Gardening is good for the soul - There is no better way to spend your time than in the garden!
Are you a committed gardener that just loves to grow things?
Garden Power Tools for the Larger Garden - Make your life a little easier with power tools
If you have a big garden then you may find that the only way to cope with the amount of work involved is to employ the use of power tools. Jobs such as cleaning patios, clearing leaves and cutting grass are all tasks that can be made much quicker and easier to do with a little more power to your elbow.
Below are a selection of tools that will help you with these garden jobs.
Everyone loves to garden don't they? - Well gardening tools make it easier!
So which is it vegetables or flowers?
Sit on Mowers - Are you a mulch-er or collector
For a very large garden with lots of grassed areas there is only really one way to cut the grass and that is with a sit on lawnmower. Then you need to make the decision whether you want to mulch or collect the grass cuttings and if it is the latter you will need to select a mower that has an easy emptying system and set aside an area in your garden where you can just pull up, dump and then get back to the mowing.
Mulching is an easier option because you just leave all the grass cuttings on the lawn, which then break down and help feed the lawn. But you need to ensure you get the right type of blades and a cutting hood that is virtually self enclosed so that the blades can do a proper job of mulching those cuttings up really finely.
Something for the Older Gardener - Save your knees with a kneeler bench
For the more mature gardener, tending to those borders and flower beds definitely goes a little easier if you can protect your knees a little. The kneeler bench is a nice soft option for resting your knees on while you work and the handles make getting down and back up again a little easier.
As you get older I am afraid you have to admit a little bit of comfort does no harm. Kneeling down on a nice soft kneeler certainly makes the day go easier. Especially if you can then turn it up the other way and have a little sit down.